Marshalswick South Focus Team

Councillors, Rod Perks and Allan Witherick working with Andrew Duff MEP and Melvyn Teare for you Learn more

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STAGS – Standing up for Education

by awitherick on 26 November, 2010

This week I, Councillor Allan Siao Ming Witherick, met with the new head mistress of St Albans Girls School which sits just to the East of Harpenden Road. This was an opportunity to look around the school site and see the conditions that the pupils work in and to hear about their proposals for the future.
STAGS is an outstanding school, with an OFSTED report to match (Grade 1 and 2 (the highest) across the board at their last inspection in 2008). This has of course lead to ever increasing popularity in terms of applications and resultant increases in pupil numbers.

The new Headmistress is incredibly passionate about her pupils, education and the position of STAGS in the community. Her tour of the school showed the library facilities and in passing innovations such as solar panels, but also the limitations they currently face.

And I have to agree with her position. She cares about delivering a quality education for all her pupils (which does include boys in the sixth form!), but she understand the fiscal situation nationally and the pressures that we all face, the school included.
As such, when asked whether STAGS could benefit from additional facilities, the answer was of course an unequivocal yes. Of course the school would love to have extra space for the sixth form for example, but currently the public money, our tax money, to fund such expansion just isn’t there.

There is no position from the school with regards to housing, development or anything else because, quite simply, that isn’t what the school is there for; which is right and proper.

If, and it is a big if, anything happens on the fields near to the school and the school had turned down the opportunity for additional facilities, wouldn’t you feel let down if you were a pupil or parent? Wouldn’t you want to know why the school didn’t fight so that you, or your child, had support for a better education?
That’s the fight that I truly felt the Headmistress believed in. A fight for education facilities which support her pupils and the local community.

It’s just sad the way that things can be misused, despite the best of intentions.

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